Ghosts Are Real. Clark Gable 1.

I was sitting on the sand at Manhattan Beach just before sunset when I turned my head and discovered Clark Gable sitting right beside me. He looked about thirty-five, mustache in place, and he was staring out to sea.

“That’s when I grew it,” he said. “When I was thirty-five. No mustache in Mutiny, but you’ll see it in San Francisco and Saratoga.”

“What are you doing here?” I said.

“Same thing as you. Nothing,” he said. “I come down sometimes. To get away from the crowds, the incessant yakking.”

“Down from heaven?” I said.

He laughed.

“Down from Forest Lawn,” he said. “It can be a madhouse up there. Too many stars. Too many fans. Bad combination.”

I looked away and then back. He was still there. I’ve got ghosts of my own on Manhattan Beach. From my wasted youth. Nothing like this, though.

“Are the Forest Lawn jumps still there?”

“They are indeed,” Gable said. “That kind of noise I can appreciate… I was born in Cadiz. Maybe they should have planted me back there.”


“Cadiz, Ohio. Tiny little place. Still tiny. But nah, I’d go crazy there. Too quiet. Forest Lawn is the place for me. Or that cemetery up in Altadena. They film so many funerals up there, it’s hardly fit for fresh graves anymore. They’ve built a morgue set next to it. ”

“Well, it’s quiet here,” I said. The day had been chilly and the beach was mostly deserted. As we watched, the sun dropped below the cloud layer out on the horizon and sat orange on the edge of the water.

“Nice,” Gable said.

“So now I’m the one deals with the yakking.”

“Hey! I’ll move.”

“No, wait,” I said. “I work in the industry. I’ve got a couple of questions for you.”

“Hell, everybody I know is dead. Save your breath. You could use some help, but not from me. You always sit out here with puke down your front?”

“I drank something or smoked something or popped something or snorted something that didn’t agree with me,” I said.

“No wonder you can see me. Where they going to bury you?”

“I have no idea. Where, or who.”

“Then if I were you, I’d try a little harder to stay alive.”

“I’m tapped out. I’m writing a script for Kevin Costner. It’s supposed to be a romance. Him and some hot young star. Not his idea, but a guy I know swears he can sell it to him. It’s sort of Juno meets Gran Torino. He says get off my lawn and she says get on my rug. Irreverent.”

Gable rolled his eyes.

“I was in something like that once,” he said. “It was called Teacher’s Pet. I’m a hardened old reporter and I take a journalism class taught by Doris Day. I felt sorry for her at the time.”

“Because she was young and had to clinch with a geezer?”

“That, but also I could tell she was the type that could be abused by her mate, which is what happened to her, the poor mutt.”

“She was my type, Doris was,” I said. “What about you?”

“My type was Marilyn, but working with her that last time… I think that’s what killed me.”

The sun was gone then, and so was Clark.

Top 5 Movies that Include a Dead Horse

No movies that feature dog food are included. Let’s try to class up this post. For the same reason, nothing about those unfortunate, occasional accidents at the stud farm. And no mention of Catherine the Great.

Don’t miss the Top Chef Canada episode on cooking with horse meat.

5. Phar Lap (1983) or Seabiscuit (2003) – I don’t specifically remember the death scenes, but I know that there must be a real tear-jerker in the horse-race genre somewhere. If not in the two mentioned, then in National Velvet (1944) or Black Beauty (1946) or that movie about the kid and the big black horse on an island. Or in Bite the Bullet (1975) or that horse-race-across-the-Sahara entry, the name of which I forget. Sometimes the horse is just plain old plot fodder (and paid in fodder, too). It’s an outrage.

4. Blood Creek (2009) – Fassbender sends the red-eyed zombie horses into the farmhouse kitchen. They’re already dead, so they count for this list, no matter what happens to them next.

3. How many movies have featured the desperate flight to freedom or other such fraught journey, during which the lathered-up and much overworked faithful horse finally drops in its tracks, sometimes to be eulogized in a pithy sentence or two, sometimes to be consumed for dinner? True Grit (2020). Duel at Diablo (1966). Gone with the Wind (1939), of course. There is also the case where the rider must open the horse and crawl inside to keep warm during the prairie blizzard, but I have those over in the “Camping Out” list.

2. Temple Grandin (2010) – It’s mostly the cows and pigs that get it in this one, but I do believe that there is some horse grief as well.

1. The Godfather (1972) – It’s only the head, but I think that’s enough.

Top 5 movies with vegetarian stars

I thought about limiting this to vegans, or even to those who won’t eat anything that casts a shadow, but why not salute all who avoid killing animals except for sport or by driving too fast?

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Sir Anthony Hopkins probably isn’t a vegetarian but I’m including this movie in the list anyway because it would be ironic if he was or were and because it explains his reference to fava beans.

4. The Graduate (1991) – Hoffman is a vegetarian. I don’t know what he eats in this movie. I’ll steer clear of the obvious joke about Mrs. Robinson.

3. Iron Man (2008) – I just want something here with vegetarian Gwyneth Paltrow in it. The screen Paltrow, you understand, not the real Hollywood Paltrow. If I haven’t written about the real Paltrow yet, I will, that $@^&*, but I won’t use her real name when I do. In Iron Man, she plays Pepper Potts. Which makes me wonder whether Ralph and/or Larissa Pans also abjure meat.

2. Troy (2004) – You would figure Brad Pitt for a vegetarian, what with him having the last name of a fruit seed. He plays Achilles here, whose diet included a lot of olive oil and goat cheese. Plus, the name makes me think of chiles. Plus, it’s the Iliad, right? Isn’t that supposed to be a great poem or book or whatever?

1. Psycho (1960) – Anthony Perkins don’t eat meat. You know how when you’re in the kitchen and you’re chopping vegetables and you accidentally cut your finger and bleed like a stuck pig? Don’t you always think of that when you’re watching the shower scene from this movie? Maybe think about cooking together with Janet Leigh, with her wearing one of those 50s sweaters like she used to?

Top 5 WWJD Movies

 You should ask yourself what Jesus would do every time you watch a movie. Here are my top five movies for raising questions in your mind.

5. Ken Burns Baseball (1994) – What position would Jesus play? He’d have to manage because He’s not going to take orders from anybody else, but He’d also want to play. He wouldn’t pitch because He’d want to play every day. Of course, being The Son Of God, He could pitch every day, but that wouldn’t be fair to the other pitchers, and Jesus is all about being fair. He could catch but I don’t see Him crouching in the dirt in front of the umpire, with a mask covering His face. No, I see Him out in center field, cantering and romping around out there like a young colt, when he’s in a good mood at least.

4. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – If He were the Wizard and Dorothy came to Him asking to go back to Kansas, (1) would He just turn her into a pillar of salt for wanting to leave His kingdom? (2) would He notice that Garland had bound her breasts for the role and if so, what would He think about that? (3) would he give her a pass because Kansas is pretty damned Christian?

3. Marly and Me (2008) – So what about Christ and dogs? Is He pro or con? And what about Marley? How is he going to react, sniffing around The Ankle of our Savior?

2. War of the Worlds (2005) – Does Jesus figure that humans and aliens are all God’s children? Or are the aliens just damned bugs? Does God let the humans and aliens slug it out, like us and the Nazis, making sure we win in the end with us feeling pretty special doing it?

1. The Ten Commandments (1956) – Suppose that Jesus instead of Charlton Heston is playing Moses. He’s thinking Hey, I’m leading the Jews out of Egypt but in a thousand years they’re going to crucify me. Maybe I ought to just leave them there, or better yet, in the middle of the Red Sea. But then He thinks, but I was born a Jew so maybe that’s not so good an idea.

My clerical collar

When I’m in New York City, I like to walk around Central Park every once in a while wearing my clerical collar. As a card-carrying member of SAG, I can do this.

I started out the other day at Fifth and E. 72nd. I hadn’t gone two steps before a cur padded out from behind a bush and approached me, tail between legs, head down, tongue lolling. Perhaps it recognized the collar and expected a treat. When it got close enough, I looked around to make sure that nobody was watching and gave it a good swift kick. It yelped, but instead of running away, it skulked back out of range, sat down, stuck a leg in the air, and began to lick itself.

I moved on with the thing following at a distance. I ignored it. A priest can’t be seen chasing a mutt around. I came to two elderly women sitting on a bench with rosary beads in their hands. They stood up as I approached. They spoke to me, but they were dark-skinned Mexicans or PRs or something and I answered with the only Spanish words I know: Adios, muchachos.

If you’re a man of the cloth out in public, you expect deference and respect, yes. Otherwise, why bother? But in English, please. This is America. When JFK ran for president, voters were worried that the Pope was going to be running the country. That’s respect. When Al Smith ran against Hoover, he never had a chance, for the same reason. Except in Massachusetts with its Irish, and in the Deep South, where you can be any religion you want as long as you’re white and still believe in slavery. Bing Crosby saved his studio with Going My Way. Respect.

Along the path, a homosexual smiled at me and nodded. I waggled a finger at him.

“I’ve never touched a boy under 18,” he said as he passed. “Can you say the same?”

“Certainly!” (Since he specified boys that is, haha.)

A woman and her daughter were arguing by a park bench. I slowed down and got that wise, humble, priest look on my face, ready to dispense wisdom to them. The mother noticed me looking.

“What?” she said. “You never saw two Jews arguing before?”

Further along, a pretty woman with an adam’s apple raised an eyebrow at me. Are there no normal people in this city? It’s worse than Venice Beach. Well, maybe not.

I was almost to the Great Lawn when my heart leapt. A class of girls in their little Catholic-school uniforms scampered into view. I quickened my step, hand involuntarily going to the hotel key card in my pocket. Then I spotted, coming up behind them, their teacher or chaparone or whatever, wearing a collar like mine. He saw me immediately and waved, smiling, ready to pepper me with questions about dioceses or today’s Saint’s Day or Christ knows what else. He had a rape whistle hanging around his neck. I checked to ensure that my fly was buttoned.

As Swiper would say, “Oh, man!”

Finally, then, that damned dog went for me.

I get a writing project

I’ve said some mean things about executive producers before, but I was having a drink or three with Aaron Goldstein (not his real name) at the Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard and there was no friction whatsoever between us, especially after we had slurped down a couple of After Eights (sweet tooth!) and did a line in the men’s room.

The next thing I know we’re zooming down the 10 toward Santa Monica in his Pagani Zonda, at a speed only possible when you’re too far gone to value your life or, more importantly in the case of the Zonda, the life of your car.

“Let’s drop in on Susan (not her real name) and Tim (not his real name),” Aaron says.

“My God, not them,” I say. “They’ll never let me in. She hates me.”

“I won’t tell her you’re with me,” Aaron says.

“They’re in that new ritzy development. It’s gated. And they’re not too crazy about you, either.”

“I’ve got a project,” Aaron says. “They’ll kill for it.”

At the gate, the guard makes the call, listens, and shakes his head at us.

“What!” Aaron says, revving his engine to ear-splitting levels. “Did you tell them I’ve got a project for them?”

“They said, well, they said no, in so many words,” the guard says. “I’m sorry, Mr. Goldstein (did I mention, not his real name?).”

“Try em again.”

“Should you even be driving, Mr. Goldstein?”

“I can drive as far as their place. That’s it.”

“I can’t let you in, Sir, I’m sorry. Why don’t you step into the security center here and let me call you a cab? I’ll have one of the yard boys drive your car home.”

The security center featured a pleasant living room-like area and a big kitchen/dining room setup. We took seats at the table and a maid or cook or suchlike brought us beer, chips, and a bottle of #4 Bombay Sapphire gin to fortify the brew. As we sat there drinking and waiting for the cab, Angelina Jolie (not her real name) came through a door from the back of the building. Her hair was mussed and her lipstick smeared. Wasted as we were, we could tell she’d been busy, presumably with one of the security detail. She froze when she saw us.

“What are you bozos doing here?” she said.

“Where’s Brad (not his real name)?” Aaron (NHRN) asked with a grin.

“On location in France. Look, guys…”

“Baby,” Aaron said, “have I got a project for you.”

She sat down. The minion brought her a brew and a glass. She poured, then added some gin. “I’m listening. Just so long as we’re understanding each other here.”

“Boogie Nights meets 127 Hours,” Aaron says. “You’re the one has to use the knife.”

“I like it,” she says.

“I’ll do the screenplay,” I say, quick as can be.

“Forget about it,” she says. “Creep.”

“I’m sitting here, aren’t I,” I say, going dark on her. “I’ve got eyes in my head.”

She sighs.

“All right,” she says, “but Aaron, this idiot screws up just once, with my underwear or anything else, and it’s off, no matter what you clowns think you’ve seen.”

Aaron just grins. Angelina stands up.

“For this,” she says, “I deserve an encore.”

And she goes back through the door she came out of.

Where was Obama born? Kenya.

I can prove it. Of course, if you’re a liberal you won’t believe me no matter what.

I can also prove, without doubt:

– Aliens walk among us

– Ghosts are real

– Welfare moms are wrecking the economy

– Illegal Mexicans are wrecking the economy

– God loves America, but if the Democrats make Him mad enough, we’ll all suffer.

I’m also wondering which search terms in Google will help readers find this post. Or did Obama spoil everything by displaying that big old birth certificate?

Later: OK. Google is now sending readers to this page. Good. Welcome, Birthers! I know an old woman in Kenya who actually saw the birth. She has photos. Even on the newborn, you can see that mole beside his nose. It’s Obama all right. I’ll be happy to send you details, including a photo, for a very very modest charge to help defray the cost of duplicating the photo and to provide a little something for the old lady in her sunset years. Over there in Kenya. In Africa.

Nigerian Central Bank Funds: Do You Qualify?

I was going to post a few words with a title that borrowed from the Nigerian scam, just to generate some  readers via Google hits, but I’ve decided not to stoop that low.  This is to notify you, one of my fourteen readers (all-time high on June 14, 2009), of other post titles that I’ve decided not to use.

5. Best Cancer Cures

4. Megan Fox Nude Photos

3. Cheapest Oxycontin, No Questions Asked

2. Alien Abduction Nude Photos

1. Proof that God Exists. With Nude Teen Photos.

Later: I see that some of you have been visiting every day in search of cancer cures, drugs, God, and/or nudes. I apologize for their absence in this post.

Tweeting for Screenwriters

To all my followers: I never tweet while impaired. This is because my assistant takes my iPhone away from me, as well as the Moto Backflip that I keep hidden in my shorts, whenever I become unable to answer simple questions in a logical and sober manner.

Having said that, note the following wrt any tweets  about my work emanating from the Arbitrage shoot in New York:

Richard Gere – I did not plant the gerbil on set. Plus, I thought that Gere was supposed to have a sense of humor. Did I get him mixed up with some other guy? And what’s all this yammer of his about Tibet? What’s wrong with Tibet? It’s got that religious guy, doesn’t it? Everybody loves him? In the robes? So what’s the problem? Tibet is up in the mountains somewhere I think. How come you never hear anything about skiing there?

Tim Roth – Lie to Me wasn’t real, right? Roth spent three seasons learning all the ways that people lie, but that doesn’t make him an expert at detecting somebody really doing it, does it? I didn’t take his bottle of Lagavulin scotch, irregardless of his tweets.

Susan Sarandon – I have provided a DNA sample and I will be exonerated. I can’t specifically remember the evening because I had a little tiny blackout at some point after dinner. I do know that I never had access to her underwear drawer, wherever that was.  Maybe she was hallucinating. Maybe she is an “unreliable narrator” in her tweets. What about that? And yes, not to be mean, but the woman is in her mid-60s. To look that good? Of course she’s had work done.
Although to tell you the truth, I couldn’t tell for sure. Which explains the underwear drawer.

Director Nicholas Jarecki – He didn’t fire me, as his tweet claimed. I quit. And I will work in New York City again, no matter what he thinks. He’s still a kid as far as I’m concerned. He wrote Arbitrage, which is his first feature film, so don’t blame me when it bombs. But if it’s a hit, then that’ll be because of my script-doctoring input. I’m also sure that he’s the one who got me on the no-fly list so that I had to drive all the way back to Culver City in a rented Neon, with Avis waiting for me at the end because my check bounced. (If that girl I picked up in Ohio tweeted anything, that isn’t true either.)

Top Teen Sex Movies

First, to which movies does the title refer?

Sex movies that teens would like and/or should watch? No. They should watch movies like the U.S. Army’s training film AS104b, “Venereal Disease and the Loss of Your Penis,” or the Freemason Rainbow Girls film, “Boys Will Defile You If You Let Them Touch You Down There.”

Hardcore movies about teen sex utilizing actual teens? Such movies are immoral and illegal. As such, they would be found in the category “Top Real Teen Sex Movies,” so aren’t covered here.

Hardcore movies about teen sex not utilizing actual teens? There are probably too many of these to try and choose a few of the “best,” so we won’t. You’ll find them in the more specific categories “Plaid school-uniform skirts,” “Daddy spanks his naughty daughter,” and “Ponytails.”

Softcore movies about teen sex? Check in to any nondescript mid-city hotel and pay for channel 553.

Dramatic, R-rated Hollywood movies about teen sex? These are found in the category “Will she have the baby or not,” so are not listed here.

Comedies about teens having sex? All such films in which the sex never actually happens are excluded. How can you call them sex comedies? Sure, a bunch of horny guys want to have sex with their female classmates, but, as a substitute teacher, I see that every day I get called in. I don’t find it comic. All those teenage girls. The dress codes were a lot stricter in my day. And then to come home and put on a movie and it’s more of the same? I can’t recommend it.